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Invasion and Metastasis Research Group

The Invasion and Metastasis Research Group is interested in how cancer cells are able to dissociate from the primary tumour, invade the surrounding tissue and subsequently metastasise to distal sites.

Tissue invasion and migration require cancer cells to reorganise their actin cytoskeleton as well as adhere to and degrade the surrounding extracellular matrix. It is well established that cytoskeletal rearrangement, cell adhesion formation and turnover is regulated by Rho GTPases, Rho, Rac and Cdc42. PAKs are serine/threonine kinases that operate downstream of Rho GTPases to control cytoskeletal organisation and substratum adhesion. The PAK family can be sub-divided into two groups; Group 1 PAKs (1-3) and Group 2 PAKs (4-6) based on sequence homology and members of both groups are activated by growth factor signalling pathways. We use live cell imaging, biochemical and molecular approaches to investigate the role of PAK family kinases in cancer cell migration, adhesion and invasion.

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Current PhD students

Lujain Kuwair

Alexandria Mitchell

Charly Brown

Marianne Best

Mahfuja Bulu

Ibrahim Oguz

Valeria Manuelli

Our partners

MRC new logo

Medical Research Council

CRUK

Cancer Research UK

Breast Cancer Now logo

Breast Cancer Now

Wellcome trust logo

Wellcome Trust

pancreatic cancer research fund

Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund

prostate cancer UK

Prostate Cancer UK

Group lead

claire-wells

Professor Claire Wells

Professor in Cancer Cell Biology